Self, Ego, and Identity

pp 30-42

A Social-Cognitive Account of the Self’s Development

  • Anthony G. Greenwald

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Reviewing recent social psychological literature on the self, Greenwald and Pratkanis (1984) concluded that the (adult) self is “a complex, person-specific, central, attitudinal schema.” In this description, the self is characterized as complex because it incorporates a great variety of knowledge; as person-specific because it is an idiosyncratic knowledge structure; as central because it is a major (perhaps the major) structure of personality; as attitudinal because it is invested with the affect that is associated with one’s sense of self-worth; and, most importantly, the self is identified as a schema because it is an organized structure of knowledge.